“I want to thank each one of you who had a part
in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall
always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be
able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always
be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and
may I say thank you and God bless you.”
–Hattie McDaniel’s Acceptance Speech delivered on February 29, 1940, at the 12th Annual Academy Awards.

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952), best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first African American to win an Academy Award. Despite her winning such a prestigious award in that time McDaniel and her escort were required to sit at a segregated table for two. The race controversy at the Oscars continues today with many Black actors boycotting the event and a monologue that called out racism in Hollywood.